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Coffee, Cereal, and a UFC Recap

By Derek Bowe

UFC Norfolk was a fantastic card in its entirety. Not surprising, as the matchups posed definite intrigue, not particularly in the relevance department, though in the categorical sense of truly fun fights. While the matchups were tight, they did not provide the surprises of the prior UFC 217 card, yet yielded satisfactory excitement, to say the least. Let us take a look at the key points from the night.

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Dustin Poirier vs Anthony Pettis

– Pettis’ hole in his game showed up in 2015, it has never closed.
– Poirier will be a fantastic gatekeeper for the remainder of this his career.
– Pettis could use a change of scenery, not that Roufusport is bad, (it’s not), but Pettis is not improving.
– Exciting grappling exchanges made this fight.
Fight Grade: A 

Matt Brown vs Diego Sanchez 

– This fight went how most should have expected it to.
– Sanchez has absorbed a frightening amount of damage in his mixed martial arts career; I said this six fights ago as well.
– There could not be a better moment to hang the gloves up for Brown. The sun won’t shine brighter on his career than it did in Norfolk Saturday night.
Fight Grade: A

Andrei Arlovski vs Junior Albini

– Albini should not be allowed to wear shorts in the manner he did if Dennis Hallman was bothersome, this was a downright visual crime.
– Arlovski looked the best he has in three years. That doesn’t mean his career has rebounded, don’t get too excited Arlovski fans.
– Two heavyweights who didn’t look obscenely gassed, I can dig it.
Fight Grade: C+

Cezar Ferreira vs Nate Marquardt

– Two fighters with chins less than serviceable, yet it lasted all three rounds. I believe you see where I am going with this one.
– It was a “technical” striking affair. That’s the most generous words I can use for this one. Both fighters played a safe game.
Fight Grade: D+

Rafael Assuncao vs Matthew Lopez 

– Assuncao is a phenomenal fighter, just a notch below championship contention.
– Matthew Lopez is a good fighter, was much too big a test against Assuncao
– Assuncao should step in against Rivera, despite Moraes’ awkward near passing out post-fight speech. Assuncao beat Moraes, remember?
Fight Grade: B 

Clay Guida vs Joe Lauzon 

– Guida has looked very good since moving to Team Alpha Male
– Guida needs a new contract, he’s earned it.
– Lauzon is another guy who has taken his share if damage. Thanks for all the fun moments, but I’m all for being articulate in fifteen years after this fight game is over.
Fight Grade: A

Marlon Moraes vs John Dodson 

– Dodson won that fight, say it again with me, Dodson won that fight (Though the official MMA scoring for the MMA Takeover scored it 29-28 for Moraes).
– Moraes had an impassioned post-fight speech, does not mean he deserves what he asked for. Another guy, who actually won impressively the same night, and holds a win over him (The MMA Takeover scored the fight 29-28 for Moraes over Assuncao) should step in vs Rivera.
– Neither fighter is a threat to the top three or four.
Fight Grade: B+

Tatiana Suarez vs Viviane Pereira 

– Suarez is very imposing at strawweight, she’s going to be a problem with her top game.
– Pereira is a good fighter, was just undersized, and unable to deal with the top game.
– Suarez should be in the top five of the strawweight division barring injury, by the end of 2018.
Fight Grade: B-

Sage Northcutt vs Michel Quinones 

– Best performance by Northcutt in the UFC. Yes I understand he has a first round knockout in his debut, but we saw a patient, composed Northcutt show progression. This was a great sign.
– Northcutt needs to be brought along with gradual increase in opposition, not the exponential leaps as it happened initially.
Fight Grade: B 

Nina Ansaroff vs Angela Hill 

– My personal fight of the night. Both ladies traded bombs the entire fight.
– Arguably the best fight on the card, also the most difficult to score.
– Both fighters have improved tremendously since their debut in the UFC.
Fight Grade: A 

Sean Strickland vs Court McGee 

– I scored this for Strickland personally. The draw was surprising.
– Two fighters who have great cardio, and always push the pace. Ugly fight, but they both thrive there, was to be expected.
Fight Grade: B

Jake Collier vs Marcel Fortuna 

– Collier pushed a pace that Fortuna couldn’t handle.
– Fortuna is a decent talent, but until he fixes that problem, he won’t reach the top 15 rankings
Fight Grade: C+

Karl Roberson vs Darren Stewart 

– Roberson is definitely an exciting prospect.
– Roberson should be brought along with care to not rush him.
– Perfectly performance.
Fight Grade: B+
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